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Braves Minor League Recap: Vaughn Grissom knocks in three as Gwinnett notches a walkoff win

It was a lackluster day down on the farm as three-fourths of Atlanta’s minor league teams in action lost

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Vaughn Grissom drove in three runs on just two hits on the day in what was one of the lone highlights on an overall bad day for Atlanta’s minor league affiliates on Wednesday.

(40-51) Gwinnett Stripers 11, (58-32) Norfolk Tides 10

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 2-6, 3 RBI
  • Joe Hudson, C: 1-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, 2 BB
  • Hoy Park, RF: 3-4, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB
  • Jared Shuster, SP: 5 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

Box Score

Gwinnett managed to avoid blowing a four-run lead in the final inning by walking it off in the home half of the ninth.

Jared Shuster got the start for the Stripers and got off to a rough start, allowing three runs in the top of the first inning. Gwinnett wouldn’t score in the bottom of the inning, but would tie the game in the bottom of the second. Hoy Park and Joshua Fuentes drew back-to-back walks to leadoff the inning and two batters later, Dalton Guthrie singled to score Park and move Fuentes to third, making it 3-1. Braden Shewmake then notched an infield single to load the bases. In the next at-bat, Vaughn Grissom singled, driving home Fuentes to make it 3-2. With the bases still loaded, Yolmer Sanchez drew a walk, as Guthrie crossed the plate to tie the game.

Gwinnett took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the third inning. Much like the second inning, Park and Fuentes both reached to leadoff the frame. After Magneuris Sierra reached on a bunt, both Park and Fuentes scored on a throwing error to make it 5-3. In the next two at-bats, Guthrie and Braden Shewmake reached to load the bases. Grissom singled to score Sierra and Guthrie, to make it 7-3 Stripers.

In the top of the fourth, Shuster allowed three more runs as Norfolk cut the lead to 7-6. In the bottom of the inning, Joe Hudson sluggish a leadoff homer, extending the Stripers lead to 8-6.

Neither team would score in the fifth, sixth or seventh innings as Gwinnett needed just six outs to clinch the win. The Stripers would even plate two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Hudson and Park walked in the first two at-bats as Hudson would score on an error with Fuentes at the plate to make it 9-6. Park would later score on a wild pitch to make it 10-6 Stripers.

In the top of the ninth, Grant Holmes would replace reliever Brian Moran for the Stripers. Holmes would subsequently allow four runs, as Norfolk tied the game. While blowing a four-run lead would normally be a gut punch, the Stripers offense would battle back in the bottom half.

Joe Dunad drew a one-out walk, as Sanchez singled him to second. Hudson then drew a walk to load the bases before Park singled to score Dunad, winning it for Gwinnett.

(40-44) Mississippi Braves 8, (48-37) Tennessee Smokies 9

  • Cal Conley, SS: 2-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 2-3, HR, RBI, R
  • Landon Stephens, DH: 1-4, HR, RBI, R
  • Tyler Owens, SP: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, BB, K

Box Score

Unlike their Triple-A counterparts, Mississippi was the victim of a walkoff win on Wednesday.

It took three innings, but the Braves got on the board first in the top of the third frame, scoring three runs. WIth two outs, Cody Milligan singled before Cal Conley launched a two-run home run to make it 2-0 Mississippi. However, that lead wouldn’t last long, as starter Tyler Owens allowed three runs in the bottom of the inning as Tennessee took the 3-2 lead.

The Braves would retake the lead in the top of the fifth inning, scoring four runs. Landon Stephens sent a solo homer off the right center field fence, tying it at 3-3 before Conley, Luke Waddell and Tyler Tolve laced three straight singles to take the lead at 4-4. Drew Lugbauer was then hit by a pitch to load the bases before Waddell scored on a wild pitch and Tolve scored on a passed ball to make it 6-3 Mississippi.

Tennessee would notch two home runs in the bottom of the inning as they cut the lead to 6-5. The Smokies took the lead back in the bottom of the sixth as they scored three runs off of Trey Riley to make it 8-6 Tennessee.

Continuing with the back-and-forth nature of the game, Mississippi managed to tie the game at 8-8 in the top of the eighth inning. Lugbauer crushed a leadoff homer to make it 8-7 before Jesse Franklin followed that up with a double. A passed ball allowed Franklin to advance to third before Cade Bunnell drew a walk. With two gone in the inning, Justin Dean grounded out, scoring Franklin and tying the game.

The ninth inning would obviously be rough for the Braves as Domingo Gonzalez was tasked with holding the Smokies at bay, which would prove to be too much to handle.

After hitting the first batter of the ninth inning, Gonzalez allowed three batters to reach with two outs as the Smokies walked the game off on a bases-loaded walk.

(42-38) Rome Braves 2, (40-46) Hickory Crawdads 7

  • David McCabe, 3B: 2-4
  • Brandon Parker, 1-3, RBI
  • Justin Janas, 2-5
  • Ian Mejia, SP: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 7 K

Box Score

Rome plated two runs in the the bottom of the second inning to take the first lead of the game on Wednesday, but that was all the offense the Braves were able to muster in this one.

Across the first three innings, starter Ian Mejia was stellar, holding Hickory scoreless while his offense staked him to a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the second, Geraldo Quintero and Ethan Workingner tallied back-to-back singles before Adam Zebrowski was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Brandon Parker was also hit by a pitch in the next at-bat, as QUintero scored to make it 1-0 Rome. Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. grounded into a double play in the next at-bat, but Workinger scored on the play, extending the Braves’ lead to 2-0.

That lead would evaporate in the top of the fourth, as Mejia allowed a pair of runs as Hickory tied the game at 2-2. Mejia allowed two additional runs in the top of the fifth inning, as the Crawdads took a 4-2 lead and Rome turned to Jose Montilla and the bullpen to put out the fire, which they did for the time being. The Braves bullpen managed to hold things at bay before allowing three runs across the final two innings to make it 7-2 Hickory.

Offensively it was a tough time for Rome after the second inning. In the next seven innings, the Braves tallied five hits and even managed to load the bases in the final two innings. However, the Braves still couldn’t manage to cut into the lead as they fell by a 7-2 final.

(40-45) Augusta GreenJackets 0, (38-44) Fredericksburg Nationals 3

  • Bryson Worrell, RF: 1-3, BB
  • Ambioris Tavarez, SS: 1-4
  • Tyree Thompson, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, ER, 6 K

Box Score

Wednesday was a bit of a mixed bag for Augusta. Despite getting a stellar outing from starter Tyree Thompson, the offense failed to produce, leading to a shutout.

Thompson allowed one run in the top of the second inning, allowing the Nationals to take a 1-0 lead. Meanwhile, the GreenJackets notched one of their two total hits on the night in the bottom of the first inning and managed to put a runner in scoring position. The other hit came in the bottom of the fourth frame on a Bryson Worrell single.

After the top of the second, Thompson was solid, preventing any further damage, tossing six scoreless innings while scattering just four total hits and striking out six.

Reliever Landon Harper allowed two runs in the top of the eighth inning as Fredericksburg extended their lead to 3-0 on the night.

That would be the extent of it as Augusta dropped the game by the 3-0 final.

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